tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN April 11, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
wrongdoing by president obama contradicting president trump's allegations that susan rice broke the law. plus, more info about the investigation into trump team connections to russia. details about surveillance warrants against one of the president's campaign managers and why the fbi thought that adviser could be acting as a foreign agent. plus, it's the first rule of politics. don't compare anybody to hitler. i guess nobody told sean spicer. >> we didn't use chemical weapons in world war ii. you know? you had a -- you know, someone when's despicable as hitler who didn't sink to the -- to using chemical weapons. >> we've got the latest on the attempts to clean that up and whether that will be enough for president trump. we want do get started with the breaking news on the trump administration charges of improper surveillance by the obama administration.
cnn is learning now about the claims of chairman devin nunes that members of the obama administration improperly requested the identities of americans appearing in intelligence reports. now, just to refresh your memory, here's what congressman nunes has said previously. >> there's some information in those documents that concern me and the reports that i read that i don't think belong there. it would make me uncomfortable. some of it i think it bothered me enough i went over to the white house because i think the president needs to see these reports for himself. i was concerned about americans identities being either not masked properly for in fact unmasked in intelligence reports. >> so, congressman nunes also said that he would share what he saw with other committee members. well, he has. and cnn's senior congressional correspondent is learning more about that. manu, what are you hearing? >> don, tonight both democratic and republican lawmakers and
aides casting doubt on the claims made that obama administration officials improperly requested the names of u.s. individuals who had been redacted in intelligence documents. cnn sources say these lawmakers have seen the same intelligence documents that nunes reviewed and tell us that they see no evidence that the obama administration officials did anything out of the ordinary and certainly nothing illegal as the president alleged. a congressional source described the request as, quote, normal and appropriate, don. >> so, you and jim schuto talked to sources who have seen the documents. what are they telling you about their contents? >> well congressional source tells me, quote, there's absolutely no smoking gun in these reports. as nunes suggested and in fact the person saying the white house to declassify the reports to make it clear there's nothing alarming in it and currently classified documents but a lot of questions have been raised,
don, around the role of susan rice that former obama national security adviser and whether she acted legally in requesting the names of trump officials who are incidentally collected in these intelligence reports. now, president trump himself said last week she may have broken the law. but, don, multiple sources have reviewed the documents that nunes timely say they do not back the president's claims she may have broken the law. they're saying that they're routine requests she may have made. now, the president himself, don, has not yet revealed what intelligence he has been relying on to make that assertion, that rice broke the law and the white house not yet provided that either. >> manu, even if the obama rope explain to us, what are the rules for actually making and granting these unmasking requests. >> well, they were set by the intelligence community, certain senior national security officials can make these requests. the intelligence agencies principally the national
security agency, decides whether to grant these unmasking requests but we are told that typically the requests of senior officials are rarely denied and now despite in the judgment of the people looking at the reports that these obama officials requests were within the law and appear to be common practice, some members of congress do have concerns about the justifications that were given to unmask these individuals and the standards for the intelligence agencies to grant these requests so expect the both and senate intelligence committees to look into this matter as part of their broader investigation into russia, don. >> manu, as you know and reporting, nunes forced to temporarily recuse himself from the investigation and investigated by the house ethics committee because of his handling of the documents.
what's the status now of that investigation? >> it appears to be moving forward, don. right now the house on a two-week recess and behind the scenes an agreement on the list of witnesses but even though there's a -- they do know who to interview going forward, there's a clear divide. sources are telling us that the republicans mostly want to interview people who have leaked classified information believing that that is where the real crime is and democrats are looking to hear testimony about any of those ties between russia and those trump associates and they do want to talk to those key trump associates, expect that committee to try to interview all of those folks that democrats want to talk to and republicans including susan rice who will have to defend what she did and requesting the identity of those american citizens and she'll have to do that not just before the house panel, don, but also the senate intelligence committee which wants to hear from her as part of their own russia probe. >> manu, thank you very much. want to bring in jeff zeleny. hello to you, jeff. this is not good news for the white house, of course. everyone up to the president made a big deal of susan rice's role in unmasking the names of
americans whose names came up in incidental complexion. the president told "the new york times" what she did is one of the big, big stories of our time. >> reporter: he did, don. good evening. and the president also told "the new york times" in that interview about susan rice she was guilty of some type of a crime and not for him to necessarily decide. this is something that the white house has been trying to not talk about this week, actually. they have the syria strikes, other things. the russia investigation is still hanging over this administration. still hanging over the white house here. and manu's reporting about the house intelligence committee, the republicans and democrats, looking at this. i mean, that is very significant here. because the white house is repeatedly said, look, this is in the hands of the house and senate the committees here and
finding from the information they have, you know, certainly is going to guide this investigation as well as the fbi separate investigation here and the white house again keeping an eye on this, don. real world challenges have sort of interrupted, you know, this whole back and forth over russia here and been the focus this week. >> and coming back up. stick around. i want to bring in "the washington post" national security correspondent and joins us by phone. this is an important story, adam. you're reporting the fbi obtained an fisa warrant on carter paige, a trump campaign adviser. what more can you tell us about that? >> yeah. basically, you have to understand the context and basically over the summer the intelligence community was getting information about russia trying to mettle in the presidential election and they were, you know, as we learned last month, comey, the fbi director, had initiated a counter intelligence investigation in july. and based on our reporting and interviews with multiple officials, law enforcement and
otherwise, what the fbi did was obtain an fisa warrant to basically monitor the communications of carter page identified by trump in march as a foreign policy adviser and from there that warrant that typically lasts 90 days was renewed at least once if not multiple times. >> and in order to do that, one would assume that there must be information to renew it because if no information was found you would assume they wouldn't continue to renew the warrant. >> yes. they had to establish what's known as probable cause. >> okay. >> that they thought that there were connections between page and the russians that crossed a threshold, that made the fbi believe that he could be acting as an effectively a foreign agent. and so, once they had made that case and very -- the threshold is rather high to make that case, target an american, they
basically -- they went and sought an fisa judge concurrence and got the order to start the monitoring. what they've obtained from that monitoring we don't know. we don't know if they heard anything in those first months that prompted the judge to decide to continue the monitoring or if it was maybe they did hear something that the judge thought was interesting and warranted continuing it. so there's obviously a lot more reporting this needs to be done to get at what was learned as a result of this monitoring. >> i have no doubt you will do it as well as other news organizations. in your article, i want to read it and get you to respond. you said the government's application for the surveillance order of page included a declaration of basis for believing that he was an agent of a russian government and knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of moscow. officials said. you report he tried to gain access to president trump.
did they meet with trump? >> we don't believe they did. i believe page himself in a pbs interview just recently in february made a reference to not getting a meeting with trump, a one on one meeting. you know, it appears from talking to former transition campaign officials that page was really pushing hard to try to be active, preparing papers for the campaign and so on. it's not clear to us, it's more ambiguous the degree to which the campaign was reciprocating. you know? certainly after he did a trip in july to russia and it began to get controversial, there was less -- you could tell from the campaign they wanted to put some distance between the campaign and page. and you see that today even more so where the white house really
wants to try to make it look as if page was very much not involved. and so it's hard for us to assess. how did page end up on that list of advisers? that's something we don't understand even though it's over a year ago now. >> the white house is saying, of course, he had an attenuated role. you report that he had a meeting with then-senator and campaign adviser jeff sessions now the attorney general. >> right. he had some meetings that he took place and there were some regular dinners and meetings that were taking place here in washington. and my understanding is page would attend at least some of those meetings that took place between other campaign advisers. he did also attend the republican national convention where according to members of congress he had a meeting with the russian ambassador to the united states.
the nature of that contact and as we know, reported previously, sessions also had a meeting during the republican national convention which he did not mention when he was asked about such contacts in his confirmation hearings to be attorney general and prompted later he ended up recusing himself from this investigation so there's a lot of kind of curious connections. and you can -- what this new detail we have tonight about the fisa warrant, it's a piece of that puzzle in trying for us to understand how the fbi is approaching this investigation and how are these individuals all connected with each other. >> i have to ask you this just for context for our viewers here. give us some context on carter page. what else was going on in his life at the time in terms of his connections to russia? why did they think he was engaged knowingly in clandestine
activities? >> there was an earlier case in which page came to the attention of the fbi. i believe it was 2013. and in which he was basically engaging with what he thought apparently was a russian diplomat who, in fact, was a russian intelligence officer. this is in new york. and there was an exchange of information where he provided, page provided to this russian operative documents related to the energy field that he was working on. and so, this is one of the items that's listed in the application that the fbi filed with the fisa court to get the warrant up on the communications. so in other words, there's a history of contact there that the fbi was able to cite and then, of course, you know, when you look at carter page's history, he's -- he spent several years in russia, working for merrill lynch and has
frequently returned, you know, and that is obviously something that doesn't necessarily mean anything because a lot of american business men, investment bankers and so on, have dealings in russia but this also added to the suspicions on the part of the fbi which then they had to present to convince an fisa judge to allow them to monitor his communications. >> adam is a national security correspondent for "the washington post." thank you. can you stay with us on the phone? because i want to bring our own people in here and then you can check and may need to get you to put a final button on this. i want to bring jeff zeleny back and joining us is laura coates and nia malika henderson. the 90-day warrant is renewed more than once. what does it tell you that the fbi would have to prove if they
were getting somewhere to get it renewed? why would they do that? >> well, it could mean one of two things. either, one, they did not acquire enough information to go forward with actual criminal charges and they needed to have more time to do so. the other explanation is they have not gotten enough but received some. enough to warrant additional causes for probable cause. probable cause, of course, the courts are saying, is there some basis? is there a reason to believe there's a national security risk at our -- at the core of your request to investigate an american citizen? and if there's continuing information that is coming in that encourages the fisa court, this is an appropriate invasion, and they'll continue to grant continuance and extensions. it's very important what we just talked about in that you have somebody on the radar at the fbi
back in 2013 involved with somebody who as we talked about last week, don, was just deported after being released from prison four months before the end of the term so that the connection that may have been made between the person -- i believe it's the person posing as a bank employee of vbe, a russian-owned bank, now that link in the chain is missing because he's deported but the fbi is saying we have more than smoke. we have probable cause there may have been, in fact, a crime. give us more time and the court said whatever we saw, yes. >> interesting. so nia, you now. "the post" reports that carter page suspected of being a foreign agent and sought meetings with president trump. page issued a statement and i'll read part. he says there have been various reports about fisa docs and surveillance but i was so happy to hear that further confirmation is now being revealed. it shows how low the clinton/obama went to suppress dissidents who did not support
their failed foreign policy. it will be interesting to see when it's more fully disclosed including the dodgey dossier, a document that clearly is false evidence which could represent yet another potential crime. now, i'm sure, you know, there are going to be many, many more questions of page and other trump associates. what do you take from his response there? >> yeah. it's fairly nonsensical. i mean, it's -- this sort of allegation about the deep state and clinton and obama as the bad guys who are somehow pursuing him illegally. i mean, the point of the matter here is that the fbi is looking in to trump associates, obviously we heard comey say that in his testimony before the senate intel committee a couple of weeks ago but, you know, carter page is out there on any number of occasions talking about this and you had trump with "the washington post" some point name carter page as a foreign policy adviser.
it is unclear as adam was saying how close he was to the campaign, how much he was in the inner circle in terms of foreign policy. but i think, again, this puts this investigation about russia front and center at a time i think when we had the trump administration for the first time from this administration really talk tough on russia and really basically try to get russia to do something different and called them out in terms of syria. but again, this constant sort of trickling out of information about this investigation not helpful to this administration. >> jeff, i want you to take a listen to this. >> we heard you might be announcing your foreign policy advisory team soon. >> we are going to be doing that, in fact, very soon. i'd say during the week we'll be announcing some names. it will always grow. >> anything you can start off this morning with us? >> i hadn't thought in terms of doing it. if you want, i can give you some of the names. >> i'd be delighted. >> i wouldn't mind.
walid phares who you probably know. ph.d. adviser to the house of representatives caucus and counterterrorism expert. carter page, ph.d. >> so that was march 21 of 2016, jeff, of "the washington post." both adam with "the washington post" and nia-malika, both mentioned that exchange. has the white house explained how carter page ended up on the list? >> they haven't extensively. that's back when mr. trump was emerging as the likely or potential republican nominee. just a little over a year or so ago and quite frankly he didn't have much of a big apparatus of advisers around him. he was a very lean campaign but he was sitting down with the editorial board there of "washington post," that was the publisher of "the washington post" asking him questions there and he did say that carter page was an adviser. now he was never a central player in the rest of the
campaign. certainly like a paul manofort and sean spicer from the podium at the white house said, oh, basically not involved in the campaign. that's not true. but carter page does fit into more along the lines of those descriptions here. he was never a central player in terms of the campaign apparatus. but did have meetings and he was, you know, in the inner circle and the president there, you know, was saying that he was one of his advisers here so look. as this plays out, it is getting closer and closer to the inner circle here and this fisa warrant, you know, that "the washington post" is reporting tonight is something that trump team and campaign will have a hard time blaming that on susan rice or others. i mean, this is a court of law, a judge that decides this here. so still a lot of questions about the exact involvement of
carter page, how close he was to the inside of the trump campaign but it doesn't necessarily matter because he was an adviser to this president. we heard him say it right there. so if he was sort of number one or number ten, sort of irrelevant at this point, i think. >> jeff, nia, laura, adam and manu, i appreciate it. we have more on the russia investigation heating up again tonight. sean spicer made a few blunders at white house press secretary but this one is big. how he's facing the fallout from the shocking hitler comparison. you don't let anything
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otezla. show more of you. we're joined now by cnn political analyst april ryan and commentators and former congressman jack kingston, a former senior advise tore the trump campaign. we're talking russia again, jack kingston. welcome, everyone. thank you for coming on tonight. russia back in the front and center tonight with more questions about the investigation and about an fisa warrant against carter page. does the white house have some explaining to do? >> you know, i really don't think so. jeff, i was just watching that -- excuse me, i was just watching jeff saying it doesn't really matter if carter page was the tenth adviser or third down.
he wasn't close to it. that is guy that never went to the headquarters. he did not have a pass to go to the headquarters. he had never met donald trump. nor had he met people like jason miller and those of us in the communications side. he did not know the strategy people. and so, for the fbi to even be investigating him is odd to me but i can tell you in terms of his proximity to donald trump or his proximity to the decision makers or the inner circle, there was absolutely none. >> david, does that matter, whether he met someone or not, or because the president did mention him? >> yeah. look. at that point in time, as jeff pointed out in the last segment, i think president trump then candidate trump was throwing out names. he had an assortment of people in there who really are not key figures and someone he didn't name, same clovis and the fact that carter page on the radar, the fact that carter page continues to come up, i do think
that this is something that the administration -- they have to have a better way of explaining what the contacts were all about. as we move forward and shift away from maybe the syria story and back toward this investigation in the coming weeks. >> david, quickly, again, the president and the white house throw up a smoke screen with the issue of unmasking and susan rice? our reporting is she did nothing wrong and at least now from the reporting there's -- there was nothing illegal about it. no illegal activity here. did that smoke screen work do you think? >> two things, don. with regard to ambassador rice, she gave that interview to andrea mitchell last week. she didn't stutter or hesitate. she said i leaked nothing to no one acting as national security adviser for a sitting president to look at that material and at least internally have some of that as i understand it --
>> but that -- >> those names unmasked i will say, obviously, there are going to be people who don't believe ambassador rice. i don't think there's any way to interpret her response a second guessing on her part. and, don, this idea that, look, whatever else happened, the four tweets that president trump sent five or six saturdays ago, doesn't seem to me that he was aiming at susan rice at that time. it was sort of like they found something to pin this broad allegation on as they dug into the material that was available. >> this is not a justification for the president, none of it, if it wasn't just a smoke screen. alan, we have reporting from "the washington post" that the administration got this fisa warrant against carter page believing he was acting as an agent of a foreign government, russia. what is your reaction? >> it is easy to get an fisa
warrant. they accept almost every request and the presumption of innocence not just in the courtroom but the court of public opinion. each party prepared to forget the presumption of innocence when they accuse the other party and then somebody on their side accused they suddenly, oh my god, presumption of innocence. let's keep it for both parties. we have a little bit of smoke but certainly nothing coming close to a fire. >> we also know that michael flynn had to retroactively declare himself an agent of a foreign government, turkey, during the campaign. what was going on with the campaign that they had people working for president trump but also for foreign countries? >> i think part of what was going on is frankly, that the best brains and most experienced veterans, seasoned foreign policy heads of the republican party refusing to work for president trump. and i think part of the problem the administration has is drip, drip, drip. right? michael flynn.
you have carter page. you have got paul manafort. maybe, maybe, maybe. you know? at the beginning they hadn't stood there on the podium saying to us paul manafort, who? we know that he's the campaign manager. ran the republican convention. maybe then we could, you know, this idea that carter page, who would be believable. the story is too overused, too old, too stale. >> april, how do you expect the white house to handle the developments? secretary tillerson is in moscow as we speak. >> well, they're going to have to go step by step as everything seems to be going step by step. i want to go back to something and this is kind of poignant and pulls in also from the issue of susan rice into today. i talked to former homeland security head jay johnson and said it's typical trying to find
intelligence. and he stands by susan rice for one. but when you go into the new age, this trump era, just within 82 days, they are playing defense, they're trying to, again, look like the fine-tuned machine that the president said that this administration was during the first press conference. but at the same time, they're on the defense. but they have to answer these questions, again, focusing back on russia. it's not smoke and mirrors anymore. everything is in the open and we are seeing when's going on. >> i don't think so anymore. i think that the break between russia and the united states caused by syria is going to make this story go away. what people were afraid of is president trump may be beholden to russia. he's demonstrated that is not the case and an old story. not a current or future story. >> you don't think that -- >> no, no, in. >> hold on. hold on.
april first. go ahead, april. >> -- because of the elections. i believe this story will not go away because of the ramifications of what could have happened in or what is thought to have happened in this past presidential election and what it could lead to in the next elections to come. 2018 and 2020. so there are very serious issues on table. it is not going away. >> nia, button this up for us, please. >> won't go away because there are investigations going on right now. there's a senate intelligence committee investigation. the house and the fbi. so as a story, and as a sort of news topic, perhaps it will come and go. but as an investigation, it will go on until they reach any sort of conclusion. >> i have to go. i have to go. i have to take a break. sorry about that. we'll continue to discuss russia and we'll talk about sean spicer's blunder today and apology. april was in the briefing room when it happened. we'll be right back. i was thinking around 70. to and before that?re? you mean after that? no, i'm talking before that. do you have things you want to do before you retire? i'd really like to run with the bulls. wow. hope you're fast.
reaction is going to be unbelievable. april, you were there in the room. big backlash for the comments of sean spicer comparing hitler and assad. let's listen to the full clip. first he makes a statement and then he tries to clarify it. >> we didn't use chemical weapons in world war ii. you know? you had a -- you know, someone as despicable as hitler who didn't even sink to the level of using chemical weapons. so you have to if you're russia, is this a country and regime to align yourself with. >> quote, hitler didn't sink to the level of using chemical weapons. what did you mean by that? >> i think when you come to sarin gas, he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that assad is doing. i mean, there's clearly -- i understand your point. thank you. i -- thank you. i appreciate that. there was not in the -- he brought them into the holocaust center. i understand that.
i'm saying in the way assad used them going into towns, dropped them down to innocent -- into the middle of towns. >> you were in the room. what was your reaction? >> i was actually writing and i was listening, and when he started making the statements, i was -- it was -- it was an impacting statement. something that you're not -- he touched a third rail. and i quickly lifted my head and i heard audible gasps in the room. i heard people saying things and turning and looking. people were very upset, particularly many of the jewish american reporters that were in the room. it was -- it was not a shining moment for him to make that statement. you never compare hitler with anyone. you don't even bring hitler up.
it was a very bad moment. >> nia, holocaust centers. it was -- you know? >> yeah. no. i never, ever heard that phrase i guess in that particular moment he meant gas chambers. what i was looking at sean spicer up there and we know sean spicer, obviously. he is in the job now 82 days now. and you could tell that he was getting into territory and comparisons that might not exactly be helpful and you can sort of see in the room there, april was obviously there, seems like the reporters trying to help him out to get to a place where he can clarify and make good and make some sense with this statement. but he -- he was never really able to do that and released the third statement. >> let me read that statement. >> didn't help either. >> he said i in no way trying to lessen the horrendous nature of the holocaust. i was trying to draw a distinct of a tactic of using airplanes to drop chemical weapons on population centers.
any attack on innocent people is reprehensible and inexcusable. anna, as mistakes go, i mean, this was a pretty big one. so much so that sean spicer -- >> i think the word you're looking for is huge. >> yeah. he apologized to wolf blitzer. here it is. >> i was obviously trying to make a point about the heinous acts of assad against his own people last week using chemical weapons and gas. and, frankly, i mistakenly used an inappropriate and insensitive reference to the holocaust and there is no comparison. and for that, i apologize. it was a mistake to do that. >> so he's add an adversarial relationship since he's been in that role. and usually he goes on fox news and friendly territory. and this time cnn with a reporter who -- with an anchor who has connections to the holocaust. is this a big enough blunder for that? why did he have to go with wolf blitzer? i'm glad he did and says something not going to fox news. >> let me say this.
i knew sean spicer before he overdosed on orange kool-aid and he is not an anti-semite. he is not a bad guy. he is a decent guy who is trying to do his job. i don't think it's said with malicious intent. he is not a holocaust denier. that being said, you never, ever make comparisons with hitler or rape. not in politics or anywhere or on tv. i think sean realizes he made a very big mistake. the problem sean has is he's been on the job 82 days and it's about time he starts getting his footing. i think he's, you know, developed an adversarial relationship with the press. he's become a running joke on late-night comedy shows. that is a problem for the white house press secretary who speaks on behalf of an administration and who's supposed to have a level of credibility. and let me tell you, i think april ryan, man, girl, you should have been shaking your head at this point. >> okay.
listen. >> anna -- >> alan is biding his time and i want your perspective on this. steven goldstein, executive director of the anne frank center issued this statement. sean spicer engaged in holocaust denial. the most offensive form of fake news imaginable. spicer's statement is the most evil slur upon a group of people we have ever heard from a white house press secretary. do you think he was engaging in holocaust denial? >> no. of course, what this guy who claims to be the head of the frank center who's a total phony, no such thing, it's a minor institution, no credibility. within the jewish community. he's constantly trying to get headlines overblowing everything. what happened here is the guy screwed up. he apologized. apologized from his heart. i'm prepared to give a pass on this. i'll tell you who i'm not prepared to give a pass on this,
the democratic national committee, that is immediately decided to politicize this and send out media tweet saying we can't tolerate anti-semitism. this is the democratic national chairman and keith ellenson -- >> who didn't -- >> let me finish. who didn't recognize the fact he was working for an anti-semite, farrakhan. this is hypocrisy. >> very emotional to you because when there's an issue and poll politics you bring that up and threatened to -- you said you were going to leave the democratic party. >> i would have. >> if they elected keith. >> that's right. >> i understand. maybe they have issues and this is something different. >> ought not to be politicized. it was a mistake. you don't make analogies to hitler. profusely apologized and let's not let the anne frank people take advantage of this. let's understand that it was it's a mistake. apologized and let's move on. >> okay.
hang on. shouldn't the person when's speaking for the highest person in the land have a grasp of history? >> of course. >> everyone makes mistakes and i have heard people make excuses. yes, we all do. not everybody is speaking for the president of the united states. >> i agree but let's remember, too, this is one of the rare occasions anybody in the trump administration made a full throated, complete apology. let's praise that when it happens to encourage it more and more. >> go ahead, jack. is this a liability for -- >> that's not true. that's not true. >> it is not. >> ben carson made an apology for something, too. >> those of us who have known sean for many, many years know there's not an anti-semitic bone in his body. he's a decent, honorable guy in an extremely difficult job. how would you like two-hour pop quiz every single day with a bunch of people who say, i gotcha you on the slightest
mistake and not saying that's this case and anything he slips on, he's got to walk on a tightrope every single day. but those of us know him know that it was an aberration. this is not -- there's no intent here. he wasn't trying to be clever, trying to be sarcastic. >> i think that, jack, people are not -- i don't think that people are saying that. that sean spicer is an anti-semite but the deflection and the lack of grasp on basic history. after all, i think most people in the -- even a grade schooler can tell you about the holocaust and say it was gas chambers. >> sure. >> which is a chemical weapon. and if you're the person, again, when's speaking from the podium in the white house briefing room, and you say that hitler didn't gas people or use chemical weapons, that is just -- that's a complete blunder and listen. >> well -- >> okay. he apologized but still you cannot say that this was not a
blunder. >> of course it was a blunder. >> it was a blunder an i'm giving all that. i would say as i listen to it, my interpretation, and i would -- i agree with all of the above, by the way. well, he said didn't use chemical weapons in that manner meaning use it in barrel bombs or, you know, whatever from the sky. and, you know, it was a stupid thing to say and everybody acknowledged that and if he had tried to defend the statement or you know -- >> now you're sitting trying to defend the indefensible. but now you're trying to defend it, jack. >> no. i'm saying that i agree with the >> no. i'm saying that i agree with the above.
if i was going to defend it, that's what i would have said. to me, i understand for perhaps what he was trying to get to. and, you know -- listen. >> but, jack, he doesn't understand what he's trying to get to. he's saying there's no excuse for what he said. go ahead, david. >> congressman, i too want to say that i think sean spicer deserves credit for coming out before the cameras and apologizing. right away today. and it seemed sincere and full throated. that being said, though, congressman kingston, you were talking about this idea that he's got a tough job and he's getting his footing and how would people like to go out there. he knew what he signed up for when he became the press secretary for president trump. >> exactly. >> president trump is a shoot from the hip guy and sean spicer knew full well what they were getting into. >> and you know what? >> they have a war of words between us and the russians. and he let his rhetoric get ahead of what's going on in the world -- >> which is not -- >> and the democrats -- >> criticize him -- >> response to the question. >> let the democrats criticize him for making a mistake. >> but this is a democrats criticizing. >> i'm criticizing him for the way -- >> can i -- >> why does it have to be political? >> everybody, one at a time. april, go ahead. >> okay. why does this have to be political?
as someone who sits in that room -- >> exactly right. >> -- asks sean questions and i have known him for a while, he was given a question and he stepped in to his own hole. >> right. >> no one gave him that hole. >> he stepped in more than -- a hell of a lot more than a hole. >> not what the democrats accused him of. they said we don't tolerate a -- >> but this is not -- >> can we -- >> no. people aren't taking a partisan tone on the panel, alan. you're doing that. >> i'm doing that because -- >> april's talking about the press people in the room and how the country has -- >> right. >> i'm talking about -- i'm just talking -- i'm just trying to get to the issue of what happened in that room. i'm not bringing politics in it. i'm talking about this statement happened during passover. a holy time for a community that was the butt of an atrocity. a community, 6 million people. this is -- it's not about politics but people who were
hurt. >> okay. let's say it's not about politics, anna. let's say -- >> that's april. >> above politics but you're not -- >> this is april. i'm sorry. >> i'm sorry. i can't see who's talking. >> not all colored girls are the same, jack. >> i'm sorry. >> they're both wearing yellow. >> quickly. >> here's the point. you might not be criticizing him because you're a democrat. you're criticizing him because you don't like trump. >> i never said i was a democrat or a republican. you don't know my politics. >> she is a journalist. >> i got to run. i got to run. let me say this. i got to run. >> i'm a democrat. >> i have to run. >> he just went to a whole another -- i'm a democrat because i'm black? >> no. >> no, no. you're a democrat because -- he thinks you're me. that's the problem. >> i tried, producer. >> jack, quit while you're behind. >> let's just not politicize the holocaust on either side. >> don, will you wrap this? >> alan, i understand what
you're saying. no one should be politicizing this but when i heard this today, i thought about all of my jewish friends like you and i was -- i shouldn't say i was offended but it was hurtful. especially to have someone -- >> apologized. >> seeing wolf interviewing him, i had to congratulate him on wolf's show and he did a good job. >> absolutely. >> giving an apology, accept it. but -- >> but criticize. >> know what you're doing when you're the white house press secretary. thank you, everyone. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. let me talk to you about retirement. a 401(k) is the most sound way to go. let's talk asset allocation. -sure. you seem knowledgeable, professional. i'm actually a deejay. -[ laughing ] no way! -that really is you? if they're not a cfp pro, you just don't know. cfp. work with the highest standard. listen up, heart disease.) you too, unnecessary er visits. and hey, unmanaged depression,
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the safest energy company in the nation. we're back now and sources are telling cnn that there's no evidence that susan rice broke the law by requesting the unmasking of u.s. individuals identities. let's discuss now. a host of gps here on cnn. before we start discussing that can we talk about sean spicer and the hitler comparison today? you had -- you have a -- you think you know the reason why? >> it's not that -- the reason i think sean spicer made a mistake. it was absolutely clear as he said it. it was a foolish thing to have said. he tried to deflect it and defend it and realized it was
too stupid to defend. but what does this come out of? this comes out of the fact that sean spicer has to spend two hours every day defending the series of outlandish accusations, crazy talk, lies that the president has been putting forward for, you know, for the 75 days that he's been president. everything that, you know, the president says, sean spicer has to find some justification, some rationale and the orders he's been given are -- it's that old intelligence line, deny, everything, admit nothing and counter punch. that's the atmosphere in which he's been told, attack attack, attack, get them on the defensive. in that contest you could tell he was clearly just making things up as he was going along to make his point in a white house in which quite frankly facts don't matter. >> and if he didn't have to
worry about all that and deflecting, he could be clear minded about what the actual truth is and what the policy is coming from the white house and they would all be in one word. >> but if he worked for a president who made it very clear, if you get something factually wrong, if you tell something that's untrue, i will be mad as hell, i don't think spa sean spicer would have done this. i don't think he works for that president. >> i want to get your reaction talking about the infighting between steve bannon and jared kushner. he says i like steve but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late. i had already beaten all the senators and the governors an i didn't know steve. i'm my own stat gist and it wasn't like i was going to change strategies. steve is a good guy but i told them to straighten it out or i will. is he throwing bannon under the
bus there? >> it certainly sounds like this. i have never seen anything like this. an add min where the president of the united states reveals his white house personal strategy to the new york post. you couldn't make this up. >> you think he's on the outs? >> i think bannon is clearly on the outs. especially if you're dealing with a clannish real estate mogul whose family is everything, don't mess with the family. he should have watched the so pranos or something. there are obvious places not to go. ivanka trump is the blue eyed daughter and jared kushner is her husband. >> there are two definite clan with a c not clan with a k.
there are different meanings. so this is about bloomberg reporting that tillerson asked foreign minister why should u.s. taxpayers being interested in eucaine. ukraine? >> i don't think u.s. taxpayers have it but i think u.s. taxpayers have to be led by leaders. you could have made that argument throughout the cold war. why is the united states defending europe? why is the united states defending all these countries around the world? you need leadership. leaders that explain to americans that part of what the united states has done ever since the 1940s is try to construct a peaceful world order in which the united states can survive, where trade thrives, u.s. economy grows. it is something that presidents from roes veosevelt have explaio the american people and they've supported and gone on with it for decades. but if leaders start questioning the value of this and start
saying maybe america needs to be isolationists, maybe america needs to narrow itself, yeah, americans on foreign policy i find follow the lead of the president, the secretary of state. they don't lead. they understand it's a complicated world. if you tell them this is important, i mean, people say americans don't have stamina because we're kind of a fickle democracy. we have been on the banks of the rufr defending germany for eight decades. weave been in korea, in japan. americans are willing to do this but you have to be led. >> is it some sort of justification about whether they're -- hey, let's just give ukraine to russia -- >> i hope not because that would be a terrible bargain. ukraine is the center piece of keeping europe united. ukraine is not that important as ukraine. what's important here is that
western countries have made a commitment that on their borders you cannot have a land grab like this. that really does remind one of the 30s and of hitler. that is you know, somebody going in, snatching a piece of another country without any justification, europe has stood up to that, the u.s. has stood up to that. they've president sanctions in place to really start weakening that. really questions the unity of the west. it would be a foolish thing for tillerson to have said. >> thank you, fareed. we'll be right back.
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breaking news and it's a cnn exclusive. republicans and democrats who have seen the intelligence reports at the center of the nunes tell cnn those documents show no wrong doing by the obama administration. contradicting president trump's accusation that susan rice broke the law. details about a surveillance warrant against one of the president's campaign advisors and why the fbi thought that advisor could be acting as a foreign agent. plus, fallout for united airlines. people around the world outraged by this. >> come on. >>